Boy, Do I Know How to Pick ‘Em or What?


By David

And another one bites the dust.

Just as I was getting utterly full-throated in my admiration for HBO’s thoroughbred racing drama Luck, I learned the series was cancelled after a third horse died on the set.

PETA was exploring a lawsuit and had referred the matter to the Los Angeles District Attorney. HBO issued a statement with executive producers Michael Mann and David Milch that quickly got hosed on the Internet for alleged hypocrisy in the first degree.

I’m reluctant to judge the motives of people I don’t know on the basis of evidence I don’t have. I’m funny that way.

But if animals are dying, the show’s gotta close. Absolutely. That’s not, however, why I’m bringing this up here. Luck also was suffering from bad ratings, which makes it only the most recent in a string of shows that have stolen my heart only to vanish before the romance could get beyond the moony sighs—all of them critical darlings. All of them struggling for viewers. All of them gone baby gone. In an eyeblink.

Last year’s Lights Out, the FX program about heavyweight boxer Patrick Leary making a fateful comeback, was a show I made sure I was home for. (No, I don’t have Tivo or a DVR. Nitwit.) Incredible breakout performance by Holt McCallany, and Stacy Keach doing his best work since Fat City. Great reviews! One season. Over. (On reflection, maybe it wasn’t the wisest idea to name the program Lights Out.)

That wasn’t the only series FX had last year that bit it quick, though.

The quirky crime drama Terriers went down so hard and fast I didn’t even have time to figure out how much I liked it. Kickass title song, too:


Again, the title didn’t help. The show had nothing to do with dogs—it was the two heroes’ “scrappy” temperament that inspired the name. Its audience base was passionately loyal, just unacceptably small. Some claim the show’s demise was due to lame marketing, but there were those who thought its low ratings were due to the most unforgivable element a show can possess: subtlety.

Prior to those one-and-done knockouts, I was smitten by:

CBS’s Robbery Homicide Division (another Michael Mann effort).


NBC’s Boomtown—once again, rave reviews but poor ratings. So the network heads played Einstein and neutered the program’s unique, ingenious premise: Telling the same story from multiple, contrasting, at times irreconcilable points of view. After the boneheaded tweaking, the numbers tanked even further, and the show died two episodes into its second season.

Before that?

The excellent Canadian crime drama Intelligence, from the same team that created the equally superb DaVinci’s Inquest. Intelligence did indeed live up to its name, and managed to survive a comparatively interminable two seasons.

All of these programs were inspired, smart, well-written, critically acclaimed efforts with great performances by gifted actors—and as soon as you can say “ratings whore” they were chasing tumbleweeds into the abyss.

I feel like a jinx. If I love it, it’s doomed.

Then again, it’s hardly a stunning surprise I fall for programs typically described by TV Guide as “the best show nobody’s watching”—the outliers, the best-kept secrets, the obscurities, the forgotten gems.

The highly respected and widely unknown.

That’s pretty much the lowdown on my books.

You read what you love, you watch what you love, you write what you love, verdad? And take your chances. Roll the dice for the thrill of the game. Or you step away from the table, and let the next guy try his luck.

What say you, Murderateros: Which TV programs have you simply loved only to find out they weren’t going to make it past the honeymoon?

What critically acclaimed but overlooked films or out-of-print books would you like to tout?

Sound off! Augment the audience! Crank up the crowd!

* * * * *

BREAKING NEWS: My short story “What the Creature Hath Built” kicks off the new collection Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes edited by the inimitable Gary Phillips and featuring stories from Reed Farrel Coleman, SJ Rozan, Kelli Stanley, Eric Stone, Seth Harwood, Lolo Waiwaiole and more! It’s available now (as of March 19th):

The Kindle version at $5.99. The Trade Paperback (POD) at $16.95. 

* * * * *

Jukebox Hero of the Week: Speaking of highly respected but widely unknown, here’s a tune from a musician I’ll bet a number of you have never heard of—I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t till recently—but he’s been around for quite a while and he’s sneakily, eerily, jaw-droppingly good: Otis Taylor.

45 thoughts on “Boy, Do I Know How to Pick ‘Em or What?

  1. Vince

    You know I share your pain on the demise of LUCK, David. We've spoken about our affection for the show. I have to confess that since news of the cancellation broke, I went cold turkey on season one and am now two episodes behind. Knowing that the storyline won't be resolved has broken my resolve. Although I can be swayed if you want to convince me to keep going.

    I'll reach back a few years for one show that died too soon — SHANNON'S DEAL, the only TV series created by John Sayles. Jamey Sheridan as a once-prominent lawyer turned burnout who knew that only bad attorneys went to court. I still think about episodes of that show, and it went off the air in 1991.

    Slightly more recent vintage? EYES from 2005, with Tim Daly, which attempted to bring the private eye series into the 21st century. ABC aired 5 episodes.

  2. Gerald So

    Hi, David.

    I've liked countless canceled shows, so I'll only mention some recent favorites: FIREFLY, THE MIDDLEMAN ( ), 2010's THE DEFENDERS, starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell as slick Las Vegas lawyers.

    At the movies, ZERO EFFECT starring Bill Pullman as a brilliant basket-case detective and Ben Stiller as his worldly assistant, and KISS KISS BANG BANG starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer.

  3. Gordon Harries

    On the books front, there’s an engilish novel called by Anthony Frewin (who’s claim to fame is that he was Stanley Kubricks assistant for 20 years) called ‘London Blues’, about a young man who leaves provincial England for the capital just as the fifties start to ebb into the sixties.

    Tim slids into the shady side of London high life by working as a photographer for, amoung other people, Stephen Ward and before he knows it he’s involved in what history will remember as The Profumo Affair. There’s a delightful quality to that too, because Tim has no idea what’s going on and it’s only the reader –armed with the gift of historical context—that does. It’s a novel about culture and gender and race and a former empire in upheavel too. I love it unreservedly.

    Died a complete and total death.

    Gerald: KISS KISS is one of my favourite films. I can put it on in moods fair and foul and find myself captivated by it.

  4. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Well, speaking of Milch, I'll never get over the cancellation of DEADWOOD, which unlike most TV got better as it went on. I could have watched THE WIRE forever. Otherwise, my interest usually dies before the show does. Creators leave, writing staffs change, quality goes down – happens more often than not.

  5. David Corbett

    Vince: I've been following it all along, just for the joy of watching the mystical beautiful ponies, Hoffman and Farina, Hoffman and Gabon, Rosie the jockey (SUCH a crush), et cetera. I think you should ride it out.

    This just in: Apparently the owners of Santa Rita weren't thrilled with the show, thinking it put horse racing in a negative light, and they were about to nix use of the track as a location:

    The PETA claims about improper drugging haven't been confirmed, and the show's technical experts seem to be well above the hired gun variety. But all this plus low ratings — well, whatever.

  6. Richard Maguire

    Hi David.

    I've been reading about the ill-fated LUCK, but it hasn't been shown here in Germany. (I was talking to my own horse this morning about the cancellation and she agrees HBO did the right thing.) But I'd watch any drama with Milch and Mann producing.

    Is American TV now so ratings-driven that critically-acclaimed shows on cabel aren't given time to build an audience? Before they're axed? (Hate that word. Visions of a TV exec. running onto the set, smashing props, cameras, everything in sight. "Ratings! Where are the ratings? We don't care about your fucking quality!") In retrospect it seems a miracle that THE WIRE survived for 5 seasons. Because it had low ratings. But now, from international sales and DVDs it's making a lot of money for HBO.

    BTW, I thought your last book was brilliant. I don't know anything about its sales. But if there's justice in the world (and usually there ain't) it deserves to be a bestseller. I think in time DTKIR will prove to be a classic.

  7. David Corbett

    Gerald: I've never heard of MIDDLEMAN but it sounds fascinating. I'll have to check it out. As for ZERO EFFECT and KISS KISS BANG BANG, their cult status has preserved them nicely, I think. They get discussed a lot among us crime geeks.

    Gordon: That seems to be a time period rich in inspiration. THE KRAYS tapped into it as well as Jake Arnott's fiction, especially THE LONG FIRM, which I loved. Don't know if I'd called it a rarity, but it and HE KILLS COPPERS were brilliant.

    Alex: It wasn't just thet DEADWOOD ended too soon, it was the odd way it vanished, so Milch could head off and do JOHN FROM CINCINNATI — the demise of which no one so far has bemoaned.

  8. Zoë Sharp

    Hi David

    Interesting post. Not having TV proper, I only get to see series when it's been recommended enough for me to fork out for the box set. I loved 'Firefly' and both seasons of 'Life' with Damien Lewis. On UK TV there was a terrific series called 'The Bodyguards' years ago with Louise Lombard and Sean Pertwee – I don't think they ever even brought it out on DVD. More recently, I really enjoyed a short series called 'The Fixer' about a guy serving life for murdering his aunt and uncle who were abusing his sister, who is recruited to become the eponymous fixer of the title by a shady government department. And a short two-series run of 'Vincent' about a UK firm of private investigators, with Ray Winstone playing Vincent.

    As for books, I've never understood why Quintin Jardine's Bob Skinner police procedural series set in Edinburgh isn't at least as famous as Ian Rankin's Rebus, and why Timothy Hallinan isn't a superstar.

    This is not, as I realised a long time ago, a logical business …

  9. David Corbett

    Richard: First, thank you for your kind words. Sadly, no, though I believe it was my best book, it got some nice reviews but none from major outlets or reviewers. It's why I'm struggling with what to do next.

    Everything over here is rating driven now. And films are premised on how well they'll do overseas, which is now a huge portion of sales, and so dialog is shunned in favor of action even more than usual.

    There are of course wonderful shows still on — how SHAMELESS survives is beyond me, but thank God it does — but I wonder whether HOMICIDE or THE WIRE could survive in this environment. Absent David Simon's resume, I doubt TREME would still be breathing.

  10. David Corbett

    Zoe: Boy, your post is an embarrassment of riches. I'll watch Roy Winstone in his sleep (please don't alert him). I've told a buddy who loves Brit programming to check out your list and follow up.

    Vince: I neglected to respond to SHANNON'S LAW. I loved the premise and caught the first episode — Sayles played the angry husband, as I recall, as well as writing the script — and was really intrigued. But that was back when my TV viewing was spotty and I didn't follow up. I saw the problem though — settlements make lousy climaxes.

    And Gerald, I was intrigued by THE DEFENDERS, because I know some Vegas defense lawyers (they are a predictably wild bunch), but I could never get myself to watch the show, because the clips I saw were kinda hokey. The only defense lawyer who ever lasted was Perry Mason — because all his clients were innocent. Even Mickey, Michael Connolly's creation, goes on the offensive as prosecutor. I find this troubling and sad, but not surprising.

  11. Shizuka

    I loved DOLLHOUSE in spite of some big credulity problems
    (brain controlling corporation selling slaves, sexual or otherwise, by the hour in modern LA; underground base; ability to download entire personalities and skill sets).
    The mix of damaged characters, last-minute reversals, and memory leaks really worked for me.
    And the world was so interesting — a mix of real life megapolis and dark sci-fi.
    So of course, it got cancelled.

    And although the third season wasn't great, I was seriously pissed off that VERONICA MARS got cancelled.

  12. David Corbett


    DOLL HOUSE flew completely under my radar. Never heard of it. Liked the Youtube promo though, I'll have to check it out.

    I think VERONICA MARS may have suffered a bit from its own cleverness. (See Alex's remarks about creators moving on, being replaced by less inspired substitutes.) But some great one-liners.

  13. Gayle Carline

    PUSHING DAISIES. Loved that show and hated that it had its start during the whole TV strike, which doomed it. And I like BODY OF PROOF, which is showing signs of not being renewed. But I have nothing like your track record of cancellations, David. I'll send you a list of my favorite shows if you promise to NEVER watch them. You're apparently a cancellation magnet.

  14. JD Rhoades

    I see Firefly and Deadwood have already been mentioned. One from way back (1987-1988) that I thought died a premature death was a CBS sticom called "Frank's Place," about an African American college professor from Brown University who inherits his dad's restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He means to sell the place, but things keep going wrong for him and he ends up staying. There was so much great humor in that show about race, class, regionalism, etc that I knew from the first couple of episodes it was going to be too smart for network TV.

    Favorite lines:

    Q: "Does it always get this hot here?" A: (Puzzled look) "It ain't gonna get hot here for six more weeks." (It helps to be from the South to get this one).

    "What do you mean, he's a Brown man? Of COURSE he's a brown man!"

    And from the unsuccessful lawyer, Bubba Weisberger, who frequently hung out at the bar: "You know, if my clients would pay me, I'd have HUNDREDS of dollars."

    And who couldn't love Miss Marie, the "Waitress Emeritus" who'd only wait on people who'd been customers for 20 or more years, and who held court at the back of the restaurant at all other times?

  15. David Corbett

    Dusty: I know people who hate the US version of Prime Suspect on principle, so to speak, and I wondered if they wren't just being snobs. Frank's Place — another sub-radar phenomenon for me, but I love the idea of a waitress emeritus.

    Gayle: Cancellation Magnet. Boy, you really made my day. 🙂

    PUSHING DAISIES was a true gem — go ahead, blame me for its cancellation.

    I will steadfastly avoid BODY OF PROOF as a personal favor. Who knows, I may have the touch of life after all. If I stay away.

  16. Lisa Alber

    If horses were dying on set, I don't give a shit how great a show it was. Good riddance! PETA is too radical sometimes, admittedly, but I believe that where commercial interests are paramount, animals are mistreated. Three horses dying is ALOT of horses for a bloody t.v. show.

    If the following statement from the LA Times article is true, shame on LUCK's creators, producers, decision makers:

    "The prestige HBO drama was almost certainly using retired, even broken-down, Thoroughbreds for the racing scenes, and running them twice a day. Thoroughbreds in their prime are a) at the racetrack, not on movie sets, and b) too valuable to race more than once every few weeks."

    Thinking about this is making me a little sick.

  17. Schwartz, Stephen Jay

    Yeah, Alex took my "umph," because the only contribution I had to the conversation is DEADWOOD, which lasted three seasons, I believe.
    I'm in the middle of watching BREAKING BAD now, halfway through the fourth season. I'm addicted to it. I think there's only one more season left for them.
    I hope I can catch all the shows you mentioned on Netflix.

  18. Thomas Burchfield

    I support the cancellation to save the horses, but otherwise I'm a little sad LUCK's not making it to the finish line. I love the rich flavor of the show and especially the antics of the Foray Stables crew, a hapless, but somehow charming murder of crows right out of DEADWOOD and Sam Peckinpah. Ace Bernstein was also starting to move on from being an angry meatball into a more compelling and involving character. I also enjoyed John Ortiz's work as the enigmatic trainer and Richard Kind's as the agent. However, I found Nick Nolte's storyline to be completely uninvolving. His Gabby Hayes approach isn't wearing well and sometimes I wonder if he is slipping into dementia.

    I also like how LUCK shows just how dangerous this sport is to both horse and rider, on the track and off. And while I'm grateful no more horse will be hurt for this show, horses will continue to suffer injury and death, on the track and off. They're built–and live–to run, racing or no racing, and they will run and injure themselves, despite our best efforts to keep them healthy.

    In the end though, I think LUCK took too long out of the gate before it founds its pace. I think Milch was being too resolutely obscure with his dialogue. Horse racing is already a somewhat arcane sport to many people who no doubt turned in then tuned out because, well, they couldn't grasp what was going on. (A "pivotal character" who serves as an audience stand-in would have helped.) Too bad, because this was worthwhile drama with fresh perspective on a what seems to be a fading world.

  19. Gordon Harries

    Stephen: It's one more season, but it's split into two eight episode runs (like they did with The Sopranos) so it's going to be a chunky run by the end and, not to spoil anything, but by the end of Season 4 the show isn't credibly sustainable.

    On a more general note: I love the first series of Deadwood, but felt the show wandered badly in the second and third seasons. Way too much they attempted to fold into the narrative and not a whole lot of structure to support it. (which is one of the things that made S1 such a joy of me, it's a classic three act structure across 12 hours.)

    How do people feel about 'Justified'? I was a big, big 'Boomtown' fan back when that was on the air, but revisited it recently and don't feel that it's aged well. It's making me hesitant about checking out 'Justified' (also a Graham Yost show and based on one of my favourite Leonard charecters. Although, if I'm honest, it's post-prime Leonard.)

    I really wish HBO would do a mini-series based around one of Leonard's seventies Detroit novels.

  20. David Corbett

    This is from a reader who wishes to be known merely as the Mysterious M:

    What has happened to me on more than one occasion is that a cast member gets replaced and the show ultimately falls apart because the audience remains attached to the original actor/character.

    That happened with an older show called PROFILER (which may have suffered from moments of cheesiness too, but it was the 90's) and on my beloved WIRE IN THE BLOOD UK series, though I think that show's cancellation also had something to do with the production company going bankrupt at the start of the economic downturn.

    And LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Vincent D'Onofrio was such a great character. And to replace him with Jeff Goldblum? Really? I am so scared this is going to happen to the BBC show, SHERLOCK. The lead is getting famous and that worries me.

    I'd mention CARNIVALE as a show that I miss too. It went a little haywire by the end, plot-wise. I think the writing staff from one season to the next changed hands which caused that issue.

    LA FEMME NIKITA (also from the 90's) was a show I'd watch until the actors were all using walkers and had grey hair, if given a chance.

    I watched THE DEFENDERS and it was hokey, but a great buddy show. Those actors, much like James Spader and William Shatner in BOSTON LEGAL, had great chemistry.

    STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP and THE RICHES were never given a chance to succeed in my opinion.

    I wanted LIE TO ME and THE DRESDEN FILES from a few years ago to be hits so badly.

    It's a long list. It seems l too like shows that were not universally embraced. I can comfort myself that some hung around for a few seasons at least.

  21. David Corbett

    Tom: We'll call if death by subtext. (I'm totally in agreement with your take on the characters, btw, especially the Foray Misfits and John Diaz as Escalante, though I wasn't as put off by Nolte as you were. You did, however, fail to mention Rosie the Irish jockey. As I said, SERIOUS crush.)

    Gordon: I enjoy JUSTIFIED but can't say I care much if I miss an episode. It's good, not great, but I'm glad it's on because it's so much better than so much of the other stuff that's out there.

    BTW: There are rumors that COMMUNITY may get cancelled, which is fitting, since it's brilliant.

  22. Thomas Burchfield

    David: One of the factors that turned off my Elizabeth was that LUCK seemed to her to be too much a "Man's Show," with too few female characters, a fair criticism. All three actresses were good in their roles, but didn't seem to have too much air to breathe with that heavy fog of testosterone.

    Gordon: I enjoy JUSTIFIED, but don't take it seriously for a minute. I stick with it mostly from Timothy Olyphant (channeling Clint Eastwood like he was born to it), Walton Goggins and other cast members and it's rural setting. However, its plot tissue gets pretty wet and thin–I'm still scratching my pate over that organ thief episode–pretty loony. Next to it, THE UNTOUCHABLES sometimes looks as realistic as THE WIRE. (Hope that bring back that villain whom Raylan wounded in his hotel room in the this season's first EP!)

  23. lil Gluckstern

    Ratings are the game, and I 'm going to go out on a limb and say that what plays is mediocre. I am constantly frustrated because NBC keeps scheduling interesting and well acted shows against The Mentalist which is cotton candy-fun, but no real substance. Prime Suspect really developed into a compelling show, "Awake," though strange, is at least interesting, and well written, and well acted. I still miss Homicide-and how long ago was that? By the way, Zoe, you and Tim are superstars in my book.

  24. JD Rhoades

    From Wikipedia re: DVD's of Frank's Place:

    In October 2008, reported that because of music clearance issues, a DVD release would be unlikely. However, on November 11, 2008, TV Shows on DVD reported that plans are underway for an eventual DVD release, although Tim Reid has said that, due to the prohibitive costs of the music rights, a new musical score will be recorded that will "recreate the mood of the music." He adds, "it has to be the mood of the show or I'd rather not do it." No date has been yet given for a release."

    IIRC, they had the same problem with DVD releases of WKRP, another Hugh Wilson production.

  25. Thomas Burchfield

    One more thing that I must turn you all on to is MHZ INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY, a series distributed in this country by the MHZ network through public TV. It consists of mystery films produced by European countries from Scandinavia to Sicily, taking the BBC approach–slow boiling with emphasis on character, story and setting. They're almost all well-made (except for INSPECTOR COLIANDRO) and worth checking out. I write about one of them, COMMISSARIO BRUNETTI–in a recent piece on my webpage, the one where I also review THE DESCENDANTS.

    My favorite of them is VARG VEUM.

    Here in the Bay Area, its broadcast on Mondays 10 PM on KCSM, 43. I gather in some parts of the country it shows 4 nights a week. You may have to nag your local PBS station to run it.

  26. Gordon Harries

    JD: It blows my mind that DVD releases still run into music rights issues. A few years ago ITV filmed Jake Arnott’s HE KILLS COPPERS (a novel I haven’t read, but how good is that title?) which featured period music and had to be re-scoured for DVD release. Just stupefying.

  27. David Corbett

    Tom: I agree with Elizabeth, and I love the phrase "fog of testosterone." It's a shame, because both Rose and the woman vet could have played much larger and more aggresively interesting parts — given what happened on the set, the vet in particular. Ironic.

    Also, thanks on the tip about the European shows.

    Gordon: HE KILLS COPPERS is a great book, and would be even if it's title was BOOK.

    Lil: I like AWAKE, and I normally shy away from high-concept. But so far they've worked it well, and Jason Isaacs was a great Jackson Brodie as well.

    Alex: I have to admit I've stayed away from the US PRIME SUSPECT on principle, more or less, but Dusty's interest has me second-guessing my sniffery.

  28. Gordon Harries

    Why would you stay away from the US version of Prime Suspect? I mean, okay, the UK version was great, but it was also a long time ago. If movie’s can reboot, why can’t shows? Plus, frankly, there are so many transatlantic differences between our culture that means it could only ever have been a companion piece, not a remake.

    I prefer the US take on Shameless to the British one, so maybe I’m just geered differently on this than most people.

    I’ll add Jake Arnott’s trilogy to my list as I hear nothing but good things about it. The TV show, I’m sad to say, was not gold.

  29. Gordon Harries

    David: Not in my opinion, although that could be because the alteration really jacks with the flow of the story. It’s a real shame too because I remember Tim Spall’s son (whose name I forget now and who plays the police officer at the centre of the story) is fantastic at it.

    But, you know, it’s three episodes, three distinct time periods, forty minutes per episode. I’ve yet to see a 3 parter in that format that work’s well.

    (Could be worse, though, at one point ITV had a REBUS TV show that banged out an Ian Rankin novel every 40 minutes.)

  30. Gordon Harries

    Alexandra: I'm not saying she's not great, but PRIME SUSPECT was slightly out of date when it aired in the UK. You couldn't do a straight remake with those issues now and have it remain credible.

  31. Allison Davis

    Sorry, work kicking my butt today.

    La Femme Nikita (the old version) was awesome.

    Here's a couple that I'm sure no one but me watched:
    Forever Knight (about the vampire cop)
    Brimstone (starring Peter Horton). Loved that show.

    Gah. I don't have a TV anymore. Trying to limit the heartbreak.

  32. PD Martin

    Not sure if this is a bad or good thing, but often shows will take 2-3 series until they make it to Australia. I guess if a show's successful for 2-3 seasons in the US or UK an Aussie TV channel will buy the rights. Of course, anything with Law and Order or CSI in the front of it automatically gets released and we also got Terra Nova (which is now canned). Sometimes they

    Probably the only show I miss (besides, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I concede it was 'done') is Detroit 187. It just seemed so 'real' and gritty to me. But it got canned 🙁


  33. David Corbett

    Phillipa: How a show like Southland stays on the air and Detroit 187 falls off a cliff is beyond me.

    Allison: Done with husbands and TV. Limiting the heartbreak indeed. Know what? You may be the anti-TV geek but I don't know any of the shows you mentioned, and since I know you've got high standards — in entertainment, anyway — I'm more than intrigued. Research research research…

  34. Mette (The Not-So-Mysterious M)

    Normally I'd agree that such a male character driven show would be harder to relate to, but there is some magic in Luck that seems to reach across the sexes. I don't know if it's the stunningly filmed horses or the fact that Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farnia and Nick Notle have never been better but I love this show. The scene where Nolte is talking to his horse, holding his head between his hands had me reaching for the tissues. More than once, I have found myself not only tearing up, but full out crying from watching this show. The quality of the writing, the characters and plot of this show leave me wanting more at the end of every episode.

    As others have said, it is difficult to think, 'keep it on the air' when horses are dying, but there is so much more that this show can do and I'm sad to never get a chance to see it.

    I admit I went into Prime Suspect with preconceived notions. Seeing ads of Mario Bello in that hat turned my stomach. The trouble is, there was a grittiness to Helen Mirren's Tennison, as a woman caught in a man's world, that Mario Bello can't pull off. In this US version, she's too polished, too tailored, too plastic-surgeried to be believable as a tough woman cop. That was the trouble with the show as a whole, I thought, though I only gave it one episode before writing it off.

    The very short-lived Zen (a BBC show based on Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series) was also something I was curious to see develop and had hopes for when I first heard about it. By the time I saw it here in the US, I had already found out it had been cancelled, which made it difficult to grow too attached. 

  35. Allison Davis

    David, I have the first season of Forever Knight but not promising any high standards, I like the suffering cop part.

  36. Eloise Hill

    After the demise of Firefly, Doll House, and Deadwood, I have to say I pretty much checked out of cable; it's simply too painful to get attached to yet another story arc that will never see completion. And, as someone else here noted, even PBS is not immune to the tease with their recent three-episode broadcast of the lushly filmed, beautifully written Zen.

    I'm pretty much limiting myself to livestreaming spring-training on MLB, these days. At least there, I'll get to see the beginning, middle and end of the story:)

  37. David Corbett

    Well said, Ms. Hill. And one more vote for each of Firefly, Deadwood and Doll House.

    Have the Giants signed Matt Cain yet? Talk about a cancellation I couldn't live with.

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